How to enhance decision making with Business Intelligence software?
As a manager / architect or consultant you want to know how to organise your information more efficiently. Business Intelligence software automates the process of selecting data from different source systems, transform that data into valuable information and combine it in a single report or dashboard.
It delivers intelligence to employees and management
This type of software helps organisations to achieve efficient enterprise wide reporting and it delivers “intelligence” to employees and management who need it to make better decisions than yesterday and better decisions than their competitors.
What are the biggest benefits of BI-software?
You need to implement BI-software when your organisation is ready to:
- organise its information more efficiently and visualise it very effectively
- provide each employee with insights they need in order to improve business processes
- make better decisions at all levels of the organisation on a daily basis
- create a competitive advantage by creating insights your competitors don’t have
Without the right insights & software companies experience more trouble
Companies that don’t use Business Intelligence software, or didn’t select the right software, are often exposed to higher risks than companies that use such software. This became very clear from our independent research among 389 organisations: companies that are successful with Business Intelligence have a higher profitability, more satisfied customers and employees.
Which solutions are available in the market?
An overview of the major vendors of this type of software can be found in the list of BI software which is provided and maintained by the Passionned Group. We have more than 25 years’ experience in Business Intelligence and that’s why we created an ideal instrument to select the right software very quickly: our Business Intelligence Tools Survey.
How to select the right software for your company?
Step 1: Define the key Business Intelligence requirements from an IT- and user perspective.
Step 2: Use the list of requirements to get all the answers from the BI-vendors (RFI).
Step 3: Put all the answers in a matrix for the different vendors and analyse the information.
Step 4: Create a Business Intelligence software-short list and set-up a proof-of-concept.
Step 5: Negotiate with one or two vendors and choose the software that suits your needs best.
Ranking of Business Intelligence software
Our truly independent survey of BI software tools contains at least twelve graphs. You can use the graphs to compare the different software solutions on many different aspects:
Usability & visualisation
Performance & Big Data
Security & connectivity
Search & alerting
|Buy our Business Intelligence Tools Survey 2014|
Following all the five steps can be a very time consuming process and you cannot always be sure that the answers of the vendors are 100% right. That are the two main reasons why we have developed our 100% vendor independent Business Intelligence Tools Survey. All Business Intelligence software available in the market is thoroughly compared on 169 key evaluation criteria so you don’t have to perform step 1 to 3 anymore. The names of the different tools are in the graphs above removed. They are of course displayed in our survey.
Classification of the software
Many of the solutions are able to create pixel-perfect reports, but some can do a lot more and have features on board for corporate performance management, mobile Business Intelligence, Data Integration, Data Discovery, and advanced Statistics. There are four categories:
1. Enterprise Business Intelligence software
They had/have to be very good at what they do to survive and most of them have been on the market for at least 15 years, they have thousands of customers and millions of users and they have dominated the Business Intelligence market place for years – it is interesting to note that whilst all the major products have survived the companies behind them have not BusinessObjects for example is now owned by SAP (an ERP supplier), it will be interesting to see if the product remains an enterprise software-product or becomes an add-on for SAP.
Products in this category
Cognos is owned by IBM and although it has taken two years, it is now clear what they intend to do with it, integrated with another of their acquisitions, SPSS, they have gone back to using the name Business Intelligence and they have the clear intention of producing the best Business Intelligence solution in the marketplace.
2. Database and packaged products
The software is often database dependent and will not work with another database, this is not a restriction it is an element of the design. The value being that the product has been specifically tailored to run in a given environment. If you run your business in that environment there may be significant cost savings both in software and development costs. Until recently the functionality was often restricted, but some of the products with the most functionality in the market place have now been acquired by companies in this category (Hyperion, BusinessObjects, Siebel and ProClarity).
Products in this category
- Oracle BI Enterprise Edition
- Microsoft Business Intelligence
- Oracle Hyperion – System 9
- SAP NetWeaver BI
The question now arises what are the application suppliers intending to do with all the technology that they have bought. There are three possibilities: they can fully integrate the products into their applications, systems which should solve the information requirements of their customers and largely ignore their existing Business Intelligence customers who don’t use their applications, they can sell the software separately as an extra source of income independent of their applications or they can try and do both. Clearly all the Business Intelligence vendors we asked said they were doing both, but in many cases there is little evidence that they are succeeding.
3. Data Discovery and Visualisation software
The products in this category are bought by the business (not generally by IT), and managed and used by the business itself – in many ways like Excel is used, but without most of the problems.
Products in this category
Whilst much of the functionality of this type of product is becoming available as an option in the other categories, particularly in the Enterprise Business Intelligence space, these products provide a level of user acceptance that we have never seen before. In general flexibility and speed of development together with presentation of results which is intuitive to the business are the major reasons for these products being successful.
4. Innovative, new and Niche products
Most of these products come from a specific corner of Business Intelligence, like Balanced Scorecards or Financial Budgeting and have gradually extended their functionality into other areas of Business Intelligence. Whilst they usually don’t have the range of functionality of the other two categories, in general what they do – they do well.
Products in this category
For large enterprises, they are not the obvious choice, since most of these companies already have 10 or more different products in use, and are looking to reduce the number of products they support – not increase them. There are however about 40% of all our companies who have no existing Business Intelligence strategy or product (unless you count Excel as a Business Intelligence software product), for them this may well be a good place to start.
Get true insight with our 100% independent survey
The BI tools Survey gives you true insight into the most important features of the different Business Intelligence software solutions. It is truly vendor independent and the software vendors do not have to pay to be included. Our survey compares BI software on 15 major categories and lists all their strengths and weaknesses. In addition the study contains for each solution expert opinions, many tips and a powerful comparison matrix with all the details.
Do you prefer to get in contact with us for BI-assistance?
If you want assistance in the process of selecting the right Business Intelligence software for your organisation, please contact us for an appointment.